Who says African coaches cant win? By CHRIS MUSUMBA THE EAST AFRICAN THE 26TH EDITION OF THE AFrican Nations Cup kicks off in four weeks time in Ghana, and once again, the ability of the 16 participating coaches will be under scrutiny. Some soccer fans in Africa believe that homegrown coaches fail to deliver because of lack of motivation and support, of the kind that is accorded expatriate coaches. But this is not always true, since expatriate coaches are always under more pressure to perform. In 2000, several Ghanaian players threatened to boycott Black Stars the national team, unless the contract of their Italian-born coach Guiseppe Dossena was renewed. The countrys football association had sacked the coach after losing patience with his lack of success. Recently there was an uproar in Cameroon. Appointed temporary national coach in February after the resignation of Dutchman Arie Hann, Albert Nyongha oversaw the qualification of the Indomitable Lions for Ghana 2008. However, in November, Otto Pfister, 70, was offered a a four-year contract that will see him at the helm until the 2010 event in Angola and the World Cup in South Africa. HOWEVER, EVEN BEFORE the ink dried on the contract, there was discontent among the fans over how the deal was reached and the Cameroonian FA is currently on a coalition course with the government which is opposed to Pfisters appointment. The debate on local versus foreign coaches has long been perennial one the world over. Currently, the English press is awash with analysis, advice and scorn following the appointment of Italian Fabio Capello, to replace Englishman Steve Mclaren who was sacked after failing to see England through to Euro 2008. In a open letter in the Times newspaper, Max Clifford, Britains most famous public relations expert, summed up what Capello can expect: Dear Fabio, you are going into a war zone. You have no idea how your life is about to change...Do you still want the job. Are you sure? The situation is no different in Kenya. In 2001, desperate for success, the Kenya Football Federation rehired Reinhard Fabisch, who in the 1990s had taken Kenyan soccer to new heights. Fans were happy and the slogan was Fabisch for President. But as soon as it became evident that he could not deliver the desired results the tune changed to Fabisch is rubbish. Of the 16 countries that will heading to Ghana, only five will be headed by African coaches. Angola will be under Angolas Luis Oliveira Goncalves, the coach who took Angolas Palancas Negras to their first World Cup in Germany last year. Former Pharaoh striker Ahmed Shehata still handles the Egyptian team as they seek to become the first nation to clinch the silverware a record seven times. Zambian Ben Bamfuchile is in charge of Namibia, while his compatriot Patrick Phiri coaches the Zambian national team Chipolopolo. Sudanese national Mohamed Abdallah has gained recognition as he takes the Sudanese soccer team back to the continental tournament after a decades absence. The other 11 coaches are mainly European expatriates six from France, three from Germany, and one each from Poland and Brazil. South Africa did not want to leave anything to chance after winning the bid to host the 2010 World Cup, and hired Brazils 2004 World Cup winner Carlos Alberto Parreira to take charge of Bafana Bafana. Benin went for Germanys Reinhard Fabisch his first major coaching job since he abandoned Harambee Stars in 2001. Cameroon picked Otto Pfister of Germany and Cote dIvoire hired Uli Stielike also of Germany. Hosts Ghana are also not taking any chances and are banking on Frances Claude Roy; while Guinea has contracted Robert Nouzaret. Mali will be guided by Jean-Francois Jodar, while Morocco has also signed Frenchman, Henri Michel. NAMIBIA HAVE PUT THEIR trust in Ben Bamfuchile from Zambia, while Super Eagles of Nigeria have picked Berti Vogts of Germany. Senegal will rely on Henri Kasperczak from Poland, while Tunisia has extended the contract of Frenchman Roger Lemerre. But African coaches have done themselves proud on several occasions. Take, for example the case of Cameroon. In Benin, the team was coached by Wabo Gomez and qualified for only its second appearance in the continental tournament. He has, however, handed over to Fabisch, whose employment has been confirmed. The ability of foreign coaches came into sharp focus in 1992 in Senegal when little known Cote dIvoire coach Yeo Martial, beat an army of loud talking expatriates to the trophy by defeating Ghana in spectacular spot kicks. But his feat does not seem to have convinced African countries that local coaches are equally up to the task. In the 51-year history of the Nations Cup, only 10 foreign coaches have won the title compared with 13 African coaches.